Top 10 things to do in Sri Lanka

We recently embarked on a trip to Sri Lanka after being inspired by a friend who declared the country an absolute must-see. As Sri Lanka has so much to offer we decided from the offset that this needed to be more than a holiday – it would be a mini adventure! So we packed a bag and booked a flight…

Sri Lankan surf beach bar
Sri Lankan surf beach bar

Check out the Alphabet Lifestyle list of top things to do and see in Sri Lanka:

  1. Take the express coast train from Galle to Colombo. 

Riding the train is a great way to get around Sri Lanka as its cheap, safe and an overall great experience. (Alphabet Lifestyle Top Tip: Make sure to book first-class and grab a window seat!)

Express train from Galle to Colombo
Express train from Galle to Colombo

2. Learn to surf.

Surfing is great fun in Sri Lanka with ideal surf conditions for both the novice and the expert surfer. East coast resorts such as Arugam Bay offer some of the world’s best places to surf, whilst the waves at Whisky Point are ideal for beginners.

The South Coast offers plenty of options for beginners and intermediates. Try Mirissa Beach or Unawatuna for chilled surf culture, cheap surf hotels and great beach bars. After a long day, sit and relax in one of the many bars, order the catch of the day and watch Sri Lanka’s idyllic sunset.

Mirissa Beach
Mirissa Beach
Sunset at Unawata
Sunset at Unawatuna

3. Visit a National Park

Yala National Park is the second largest in Sri Lanka and gives some of the best opportunities to witness Sri Lanka’s variety of wildlife, including elephants, crocodiles, monkeys, water buffalo, deer and the star attraction – leopards! Visitors can take a jeep safari across the park which spans 400 sq mile across the heart of the country.

Yala National Park
Yala National Park

4. Take a seaplane

See Sri Lanka from the sky! Cinnamon Air seaplane flights carries routes from Colombo to the coastal town of Koggalla and Kandy, central Sri Lanka. It also makes the arduous 6-hour journey to the beautiful beaches of Trincomalee on the North-east coast much more accessible. We flew from Colombo to Victoria Golf resort landing on Victoria Dam.


5. Play a round of golf at Victoria Golf and Country Resort.

The award winning resort, Victoria Golf & Country Resort, is situated just 10km from Kandy, Central Highlands, and offers breathtaking views and picturesque scenery. Golf Digest ranks it in the top 100 Most Beautiful Courses in the World. Not bad!

Sunset at Victoria Golf and Country Resort
Sunset at Victoria Golf and Country Resort


Relax in the pool and are in the views
Relax in the pool and take in the views

6. Visit Kandy

Hire a driver and visit the Sacred City of Kandy, a UNESCO World Heritage site and Royal City, Kandy is the home of  Sri Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Tooth). The temple is regarded as one of the most important Buddhist religious sites in the country. Take a walk around Kandy lake, the focal point at the centre of the city. Visit the temple if you’re looking for a cultural experience and a serene moment amongst the hustle and bustle of the city. (Alphabet Lifestyle Top Tip: Pay the small fee for a guide to provide an insight into the religion and customs.)




7. Photograph the stilt fishermen of Koggala

The old Sri Lankan traditional stilt fishermen can be spotted along the coastal road from Koggala to Galle. The fishermen sit on a crossbar called a ‘petta’ tied to a vertical pole driven into the sand. They hope to catch small herrings and mackerels which they store in bags tied to their waist.

Stilt fishermen at Koggala
Stilt fishermen at Koggala

8. Climb Adam’s Peak

Located in central Sri Lanka Adam’s Peak, also know as the holy mountain, is believed to be the first place where Adam set foot on earth after being cast out of heaven. Access to the mountain is possible by several trails linked to major cities. The ascent is done on foot through forested areas up thousands of steps built into the mountainside. Pilgrims and tourists make the climb to the temple at the summit to witness the Sri Pada, “a sacred footprint” rock formation, which in Buddhist tradition is held to be the footprint of Buddha.

9. Climb Lion’s Rock

For those less active (like me!) climb to the top of Lion’s Rock, a huge column of rock jutting out from the tropical forest, the Rock is known locally as Sigiriya and offers amazing 360-degree views.

10. Visit Pinnawela Elephant Sanctuary

Pinnawela Elephant Sanctuary situated north-west of Kegalla between Colombo and Kandy, was originally founded to provide care and protection to the many orphaned elephants found in the jungles of Sri Lanka. The orphanage is currently home to around 80 elephants. Tourists can visit the orphanage and get involved in the bathing and feeding of the elephants.

Pinnawela Elephant Sanctuary sri lanka
Pinnawela Elephant Sanctuary

Comment below to share your travel tips and let us know your Sri Lankan hot-spots!

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